Transforming Working Practices for Social Partnership – New BMAS Scheme to Promote Vocational Training and Gender Equality

Up to €2 million are available for projects that develop, test and implement concepts and measures that support gender equality and access to further training and career development at businesses in Germany.

In the context of significant shifts in working practices due to demographic changes, the digital transformation and the climate crisis, this funding initiative by Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales (BMAS – German Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs) aims to support the necessary changes in working practices on the basis of a social partnership approach between staff and company management.

The programme is designed to promote sustainable HR policies and company culture through increased gender equality and the development of strong educational structures. The aim is also to develop and test new work forms and working patterns, and help facilitate greater involvement of disadvantaged groups in further education and training.

The initiative is divided into four funding lines:

  1. Promoting Further Education and Training during Transformation:

    Development, testing and implementation of concepts and measures for the establishment of sustainable and accessible structures of staff development and training as well as company culture. Also supported are the testing of novel work forms and working patterns.

  2. Designing Gender Equality:

    Development, testing and implementation of concepts and measures for greater participation of women in the work force in a way that ensures equality of qualification and living wages.

  3. Regional Consortia for Further Education/Training and Gender Equality in SME:

    Establishment or expansion of regional consortia to support staff qualification and/or gender equality in small and medium-sized enterprises. The consortia are also intended to increase transparency and facilitate the systematic and linked-up development of regional offerings for SME in regard to further education/training and gender equality.

  4. Innovative Approaches to Strengthen Further Education and Gender Equality:

    Development and exemplary testing of innovative approaches for the establishment of sustainable structures for further education and training of staff in companies and/or to strengthen equal participation of women in the labour market.

The initiative is funded by the European Social Fund Plus and coordinated by the Forschungsinstitut Betriebliche Bildung (f-bb) gGmbH on behalf of BMAS.

Eligible for funding are legal entities of public and private law in Germany. Recipients may pass on part of their funding to up to three project partners.

Funding is provided in the form of a non-refundable project subsidy for up to €2 million per project. The maximum funding period is three years. Funding levels and eligible costs differ between funding lines.

The scheme comprises a two-stage application process. In a first step, applicants must submit an expression of interest (EOI). In the case of a positive review of the EOI, this is then followed by a formal funding application.

For the first call, expressions of interest may be submitted between 22 June and 31 August 2022.

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)